Aditi Ashok relieved to keep her LPGA Tour card

The 22-year-old is currently at home in Bengaluru and has been practising on her terrace during the lockdown.

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok has hailed the decision for letting all players on the Ladies PGA (LPGA) Tour that were exempt this season keep their cards for 2021 as well.

"It's a great move by the LPGA," Aditi Ashok, the only Indian golfer on the tour, told the Press Trust of India. "It was inevitable with the international nature of the LPGA.

"Many players are from different countries so it would have been hard to coordinate with players and their country's regulations," she pointed out.

"It's a huge relief for sure and it's one less thing that we have to think about while playing."

Only four LPGA events have been held this year, the last being the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February.

A slew of strong performances towards the end of 2019 helped her keep her card for 2020, however, a shaky start to her LPGA season this year coupled with the suspension of all tour events had put her place in 2021 in doubt. 

The LPGA’s announcement, however, put her mind at ease.

With strong performances in the Ladies European Tour at the Ladies Classic at Bonville and the New South Wales Open in Australia, Aditi Ashok was on a roll ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Aditi Ashok had planned to travel to the United States next before the government enforced a lockdown in India.

But the announcement of the cancellations came just in time and the 22-year-old decided to stay back home in Bengaluru, India.

Eager to return

With her LPGA Tour status secured and lockdown restrictions in India eased, Aditi Ashok is now looking forward to hitting the greens and staying in shape for the remainder of the season.

“I love to play on the course. But now, I have to conform to the rules, see the crowd, the timings available, see how often I can get out of the house and go play. 

“It’s going to be different, but I am sure every athlete is doing their best to prepare,” said the 22-year-old Indian golfer.

Practising on the course hasn’t been an option but that hasn’t deterred her will to work on her game. 

“I have already started practising a lot more on my terrace. I have been hitting balls with pretty much everything, from short iron to hybrids and woods, and I have also been doing a lot of chipping,” she explained.

The LPGA is yet to announce an official date, however, the association has suggested that Tour action will resume in late July.

Golfing action is set to return soon with the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11 on the PGA Tour.

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